winter greens crostini recipe

This recipe is akin to a robust winter salsa verde, with plenty of olive oil and parsley. It's good spread on bruschetta as a first course and I also love it as a pasta sauce. Add plenty of Parmesan and more olive oil, and eat it with tagliatelle or spaghetti. The softer-textured kale varieties - dwarf curly, cavolo nero or Red Russian - are best for this dish.

For 8

  • 200g kale
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped capers
  • 3 tablespoons chopped gherkins
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 3 tablespoons chopped black or green olives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small tub of mascarpone cheese (optional)

For the bruschetta

  • fresh good-quality white bread
  • 1 garlic clove
  • extra virgin olive oil

Prepare the kale by discarding the outer leaves and removing the stalks.

Bring 2 litres of water to the boil and add some salt. Add the kale and whole garlic cloves. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the kale is tender, and drain, squeezing out as much water as you can from the leaves with the back of a spoon in a colander or sieve, or twist in a tea towel.

Chop the kale and garlic (ideally by hand so that you have a coarsely textured mix).

Add the lemon juice and zest, capers, gherkins, shallots, black or green olives, and flat-leaf parsley, and check the seasoning.

To make the bruschetta, cut the bread into finger-thick slices and drizzle over olive oil. Grill, griddle or roast the bread in the oven at about 180°C/gas mark 4 for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, to make sure it doesn't turn too hard.

Lightly scrape one side of the bread slices with fresh garlic and sprinkle with salt. Once they've cooled a bit, spread a little mascarpone (if using) on the bread and add the kale topping. Sprinkle with olive oil.

This recipe appears on p403 of Sarah's Garden Cookbook, as 'Kale Bruschetta'.

winter greens crostini